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How to Use CoachAccountable for a Live Workshop (Plus IP concerns!) – Guest Post

Do you offer live workshops? Wonder how you could possibly use an online coaching software for in-person workshops? Wonder no more!

Dr. John Kenworthy of Leadership AdvantEdge, CoachAccountable’s customer #1, recently sent over some practical how-to (and WHY) advice on using CoachAccountable for live workshops. He also shared great perspectives on protecting intellectual property while using an online coaching platform.

We’ve edited this guest post for length and clarity – enjoy!

I’ve been using CoachAccountable for before- and after-workshop coaching follow-up.

Prompted by a recent enhancement to worksheets (the ease of adding images, video and audio), I thought, “Why not use CoachAccountable Worksheets throughout the workshop?”

Using CA for the whole programme, prework, workshop and follow-up would require some adjustments to the way the workshop ran, and a few tweaks in delivery but imagine the benefits.

Benefits of Using CoachAccountable for a Live Workshop

  • Replace paper workbooks. Using CA saves me $200+ on printing and binding for each workshop, not to mention courier fees or luggage fees. It saves my shoulder when lugging workbooks half-way across the world.
  • Resources actually get used. Workbooks go to the client’s office and sit there to gather dust and fill a shelf, but CoachAccountable caused ALL the clients to participate in full for the whole programme (it’s tough for them to do email whilst in the workshop).
  • Easy to send out pre-work (readings, worksheets, actions) before the workshop and nag clients to do it
  • Participants can take notes (in the worksheets) for each live module
  • Participants can use CA worksheets to coach each other during (and after) the workshop
  • Easily track during the workshop who is keeping up with the modules.
  • Embed “slides” or even a live presentation in a worksheet so participants can follow (in the classroom or on the beach)
  • Have a full record of their workshop – heck they can print out a Happenings Report should they request one.
  • And then the follow-up: with actions they set, metrics, post workshop coaching, buddy coaching, results for the business and ROI for the programme paymasters, with evidence!
  • Multinational corporations are happy with the level of security (they weren’t when I used my learning management system (LMS) instead)
  • And the intellectual property? It’s all in a password-protected space for a single client and not so easy to reproduce en-masse.

It takes a little work to be ready. I’m sharing the key learnings I got from this experience so that you can avoid some of the mistakes I made along the way.

How to Set Up Your Live Workshop with CoachAccountable

Before the Workshop

  • Add all clients into CoachAccountable ahead of time, and place them into a group (groups for breakouts too).
  • Create a mini course on using CA. Have clients complete this course upon signup (before the live workshop).
  • Send out prework as Worksheets. Files and download can accompany, but you want Worksheets to force a response to the file.
  • Set up all workshop modules with form-based worksheets (an image of the key slide or better a TL:DR summary slide, (can also embed Google, Zoho, Office 365 or Prezi). A live Prezi in the Worksheet can be brilliant for live follow and space for notes below, but take note that mobile devices must use the Prezi app!
  • Worksheets used in the workshop to be completed within one day – no reminders (except for Worksheets they might need to do after the workshop)
  • Put modules into a Course split by days, making sure to number the modules (Worksheets) in their titles for best sorting in order of use.
  • Schedule Course elements to deliver without any notifications. It’s best to time these elements for morning and afternoon delivery (or you risk overloading the client’s “what’s next” screen).

During the Workshop

  • Take them through using the system live. Use your freebie client account and become a group member to show them what they will see.
  • Get participants to book appointments for follow-up coaching before they leave.
  • Get participants to set their own follow-up Actions and Metrics at the wrap of each day.
  • Depending on their IT security – an embedded live Prezi in a worksheet works very well on a laptop (but beware what happens on mobile).
  • When asking participants to buddy coach each other using a Worksheet before, during or after the workshop,
    1. Get them to write the “client” name (i.e. their buddy’s name) as the first field. Remind them to email a copy to the “client” or
    2. Get them to swap computers/smartphones so they fill it in on their own worksheet.


Dr. John Kenworthy

Dr. John Kenworthy, footloose and fancy-free with no workbooks to carry around

No cost of printing out physical paper manuals/workbooks. No excess baggage when flying. No trees dying.

Can change content up to last possible second.

Fantastic for a “flipped classroom” educational style, with included pre- and post-coaching work – distinguishes the trainer (YOU) from the masses of other coaches.

Protects IP and makes it really difficult for those occasional valueless companies who try to steal your work (it’s actually far easier for them to steal and photocopy your physical workbooks, a situation I’ve run into in the past).

Makes sure every participant is accounted for (better still, paid for). Must have login to participate.

Easy to “nag” about prework. Easy to make sure follow up, learning in action, and actions are done. Ensures results for the participants and organisation. Provides evidence of results and, if you set the metrics right, ROI.

Potential Issues

The clients’ IT security. Check, double and triple check that what you think they can see is indeed what they see behind their firewall and on their systems. Remember this applies to CoachAccountable itself, and anything you might embed that is not on CA’s servers. If needed, get IT to make an exception for the CA domain (and give them John Larson’s contact so they can be assured of the security CA has in place).

The client insists on paper workbooks. I have one of these clients and have now told them I will not be using paper again. They informed me that I would have to provide them with iPads or tablets to do the workshop, in that case. I politely suggested that is not going to happen. For now, I’ll let them work with my competitors until they realise that they don’t get results and come back to me.

Embedding from another platform. PDF embeds (using Scribd) works for now. Google Slides (will not work in China), Zoho slides (does work in China). Prezi and Live Prezi work. Have a backup plan handy: images of your “slides”.

Notifications. When setting up worksheets for a live workshop, you do not want automatic notices going out. Also, make sure to minimise your own notifications when they submit anything for the duration of your workshop (or your inbox will be full to fullness). (Related: On Not Overwhelming Your Clients)

All in All

Way easier and better than using an LMS, PDFs, Mentimeter (and similar).

Takes a bit of patient setup, but my client was impressed, and the participants ALL participated in full for the whole programme.


  1. Ophelia

    CoachAccountable is the UBER of coaching software!

    April 19, 2019 @ 4:13 pm

  2. John

    Hey Ophelia! Thanks, I think! Uber kinda has a checkered reputation for some of the ways in which they do business, but to the extent that they’re a well-liked service that is beautifully executed… I appreciate the compliment!

    (And if you mean it in the lowercase sense of the word of over/better/beyond, well I thank you for that, too! :)

    April 19, 2019 @ 5:53 pm

  3. Ophelia

    John, you’re right. Uber’s reputation is now tainted. I did mean that as a compliment, though. Please pardon my feeble attempt, lol. I absolutely LOVE CoachAccountable and highly recommend it. The features, support…it offers so much! And I continue to be amazed by new features. I love the blog and also the webinars! I will be sharing CoachAccountable with more coaches and also utilizing the Resource package feature. Nice!
    Thank you for your consistent work, skills, and dedication.

    April 20, 2019 @ 5:04 pm